WHAT'S NOT: Though this is essentially the same printer as the Minolta Magicolor 3100 DN and the Xerox Phaser 6200N, at $3199 its price is higher than theirs by $1000 and $800, respectively. And despite costing more, it comes with less memory--only 64MB to the Xerox's 128MB and the Minolta's 256MB. For heavy use, you'll probably need to add more RAM. One minor drawback affects all three printers: The auxiliary tray's design makes you want to pull up to open it when in fact you should pull down, and even then it's balky and doesn't move easily.
WHAT ELSE: For $1000 you can equip the HL-4000CN with an internal hard drive, enabling such features as the ability to store fonts online and to cache password-protected files. To expand the unit's paper-handling capacity, you can add an $1100 subsystem with two 500-sheet drawers. We could do without the 19 booklets, cards, and posters that make up the HL-4000CN's printed documentation set; fortunately, the on-screen manual, with animations to show hands-on tasks, provides detailed information about using the printer.
UPSHOT: You'll pay more for the HL-4000CN than for similar lasers--both to buy it and to add the extra memory you'll probably need--but its superior print quality won't disappoint a color-hungry office. By Dan Littman